Head Start’s Model: Nationwide, Comprehensive, Multi-Generational
In the six decades since Head Start's founding, we have reached a new milestone: 37 million children have been served. From early math and reading skills, to confidence and resilience, Head Start helps children build the skills they need to be successful in school and life. Head Start takes a comprehensive approach to meeting the needs of young children and their families. There are four pillars in every program:
- Education: Learning experiences support intellectual, social, and emotional growth
- Health Services: Immunizations, dental, medical, and mental health support, nutritional services, and early screenings ensure healthy development
- Family Involvement: Opportunities for parents and caregivers to be involved in decision making, participate in classes, and volunteer in the program strengthen families
- Wraparound Support: Tailored services meet local and individual needs and link children and families to community supports.
Economic Stability: Head Start participants are 12% less likely to live in poverty as adults and 29% less likely to receive public assistance.
Early Support: Families in Early Head Start have stable home environments and less involvement with the child welfare system.
Advancing Parents: Head Start enhances parents' education level, employment status, and income.
Health: Head Start children have more access to health care and have improved physical health throughout their lifetime.
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NHSA's resource library has the best information to date about Head Start’s effectiveness.